LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oklahoma’s Dimitri Flowers and Georgia’s Christian Payne have the same title but very different job descriptions.
Both are listed as fullbacks. For Flowers, that’s really a misnomer. Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley thinks of Flowers as an H-back, as in hybrid. The senior lines up everywhere — receiver, tight end, tailback — allowing the Sooners’ offense to quickly morph from one look to another.
Payne, meanwhile, is the quintessential fullback for Georgia. The senior lines up in front of a tailback and blocks — and that’s pretty much it.
“I’m not used like a lot of fullbacks in the country, and that just goes to attribute to coach (Lincoln) Riley and how smart he is on the offensive side of the ball,” Flowers said. “It’s kind of crazy to see that we play the same position, but do almost two totally different things.”
No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Georgia meet for the first time Monday at the Rose Bowl in a College Football Playoff semifinal that features two ways of playing offense. The Sooners’ spread highlights the modern move toward position-less football, with players who can be mixed and matched to provide a variety of options for Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. The Bulldogs take a more traditional approach to offense, while still keeping opponents guessing. Nowhere is the difference between the two styles more apparent than the No. 1 fullbacks on each team’s depth chart.